A name is the single-most important element of your brand. It’s a first impression and a lasting commitment. Coming up with a good one isn’t easy. It’s an art and a science. A delicate balance of analysis and instinct.

Creating a name that ticks every box is next to impossible, and nobody wants to compromise. Throw in trademark, URL and social media handle constraints, and finding the right name is like trying to find an unknown destination without a map.

That’s where NameDek® comes in, a proven system that identifies the building blocks of your optimum name.
NameDek naming cards
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Existing as physical cards and online software, NameDek® is a catalogue of thousands of brand names, dissected across multiple sonic and semantic parameters.

By analysing the fabric and texture of successful brand names, the phonetic qualities that underpin them are revealed. Their roots, origin stories, and hidden meanings, expose the underlying semiotics that give them sophistication and nuance. Useful information when searching for your own brand name.

Examined in a workshop environment, the qualities that work for different sectors, audiences and tone of voice emerge.

Some names are short, descriptive and fast to say, like, Lemsip or Lyft. Others metaphoric, perhaps referencing the natural world, like Puma or Patagonia. Eponymous names, like Biro or Bic are always an option. Neologisms, like Diageo or Durex, are increasingly popular.

NameDek cards
What’s the optimum number of syllables? Short, punchy names often resonate but are tough to trademark. A suffix might be the solution, Shopify and Spotify certainly thought so.  Are short vowel sounds or long vowel sounds preferable? Long vowels suggest stature, think Google, short vowels suggest efficiency, like GitHub.  

Word-class is informative. Names with an adjective-noun construct, like Red Bull or Right Guard over-index. Or verbs, like Speedo or Sprint, suggestive of action, might be more appropriate. 

NameDek software

Rising sounds are exciting, like Yahoo! Falling sounds more certain, like Yandex. Plosives, like P, K and T indicate precision – Pixar and Tesla spring to mind. Fricatives, like S and Z, suggest speed, Salesforce and Zipcar for example.  Then there’s the Keats Heuristic, Costa Coffee and Dunkin’ Donuts are so-called for good reason.

Humour, wordplay and misspellings have their place. Would Movember be the success it is with a different name? And who doesn’t love the name Spanx?   

NameDek software

NameDek® extracts these indicators, pointing you in the right direction. A data-led approach that identifies the fundamental properties of a name that will work hardest for your brand. 

If you’d like to buy the cards, license the software, to run a workshop, or just hear more, please get in touch.
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